Private-use agreements (was: Re: Emoji: emoticons vs. literacy)

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Sun Jan 04 2009 - 12:29:35 CST

  • Next message: Karl Pentzlin: "What exactly is a "representative glyph"? (referring to U+2591, emoji, and other characters)"

    Hans Aberg <haberg at math dot su dot se> wrote:

    > Certainly the widespread use of Internet increases the risk of
    > conflicts, and combined with the intense information flow might make
    > no one bother resolving those conflicts by hand. Then the PUA will in
    > effect only be private.
    > But might it not be possible to use Internet technologies to resolve
    > those conflicts automatically? For example, one might identify them
    > say via a hash code, like in magnet links

    One problem might be that a magnet link would provide only a hash value
    of the private agreement, not the agreement itself or a link to it. To
    me, "transmitting the private agreement" means not only uniquely
    identifying it, but also giving the user a chance to access it and use
    it to decode the text.

    For years my Ewellic-script pages written using the ConScript encoding
    have carried an HTML comment saying so, and providing a link to the
    spec, but nobody would ever see that unless they selected "View Source."
    A more standard and accessible approach would be welcome.

    > It would require a way to find the character hash code and the
    > computer software knowing how to search for them. For example, if
    > there is a Unicode character meaning "PUA URI", then what follows
    > could be the hash code identifying it.

    In the past I would have said, "Unicode would never encode such a
    character," but given recent events I can no longer make such a
    black-and-white statement about any encodable entity. However,
    considering the animosity often shown toward use of the PUA, it seems

    Doug Ewell  *  Thornton, Colorado, USA  *  RFC 4645  *  UTN #14  ˆ

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sun Jan 04 2009 - 12:33:19 CST